In true Terry Pratchett style, this rendition of Terry Pratchett’s
Fun jokes that are guaranteed to make you laugh
The age-old problem of personifying Death is solved here by presenting him as the classic hooded figure with a scythe. Cleverly, though, he appears with glowing eyes that brighten in time with his speech, and has been given a voice dubbed over with sound effects to give it a more powerful feel. When he first appears to ask Mort to be his apprentice, his eyes leave an eerie chill in you, the only thing you can see of him in the surrounding darkness.
From there, the show follows the plucky Mort, as Death shows him the ropes on how to usher souls to the next world. Mort’s actor perfectly represent the characters struggle in trying to adjust to this new life, with his own acting, and Death’s, making up for the somewhat mediocre quality seen elsewhere. But whilst on duty one day, Mort’s eyes fall on a beautiful princess whom, letting his emotions get the better of him, he saves from the death she was destined for. This action begins to tear the fabric of reality apart, and Mort enlists the help of other characters in Death’s realm in order to fix the mess before Death can find out.
Duck in a Hat Theatre have utilized the stage well in order bring to life the many magical lands the characters visit. Splitting the stage into two enables the actors to switch easily between scenes, although sometimes the transitions feel a little clunky, with stage-hands working onstage while a spoken narrative advances the story.
To fit the entirety of Terry Pratchett’s fantastical universe into just an hour and twenty minutes on stage was always going to be a difficult task. Naturally, much of the original plot and jokes of the book had to be cut, as well as a lot of the character development. As a fan, watching the leaps that the script makes and knowing some of the scenes that had been edited out made the play seem somewhat incomplete.
For those new to Terry Pratchett though, this play makes for some perfect evening entertainment. Both Death and Mort are brought to the stage flawlessly, with fun jokes that are guaranteed to make you laugh slotted in throughout the show. But some of the mediocre acting and the drastic edits that have been made to the original book make it difficult for fans of Pratchett not to come away feeling a little disappointed.